Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Wanna join the Franklin Covey frenzy...?

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have noticed that Filofax is loosing a lot of its customers to their competitor Franklin Covey (amongst others, I might add). Filofax may have all the pretty binders, but FC really rocks when it comes to diary inserts. Or so I have heard.

However, if you "like" the idea of new inserts, but feel hesitant to splurge yet more money on inserts that you might not like after all, I suggest a thorough test drive!

If you are using an A5 Filofax at the moment, head over to franklincovey.com to download their free undated sample planner. This PDF includes are 31 day planner, numbered from 1 to 31. You only need to print it out and add the month and day of the week. Unfortunately, FC made a big mistake here, because they chose a two-day spread as one PDF-page, which makes it impossible to print the planner pages in booklet mode. Missed opportunity! I ended up printing the lot on A4 sheets and cut them. It was not possible to align the numbers properly (I wish they had left the Date empty as well!), but with a bit of fat black pen, I worked around it.

Here's an example of such a daily spread:
Franklin Covey Sample Pages in A5 Filofax

 As you can see, this layout gives you a lot of writing real estate and lots of freedom aswell.

But, what if you want to print out and try out their Compact pages? The Compact refills have the same hole spacing as Filofax Personal, but are half an inch wider. This doesn't need to be a problem, if you use one of the wider Filofaxes, like the Malden. But where can you get free planner pages? I tried to shrink the above free sample pages to Compact size (which is 10.8 x 17.1 cm), but that only resulted in a minitiature line spacing. Idiotic really. Don't try this at home!

However, there's another wonderful solution. If you go to DIYplanner.com you can download your own Dynamic Templates Kit to make your very own inserts. This kit is available for both Windows and Mac computers. It lets you customize your page view, and you choose if you want to print a year worth of pages, or just a few weeks. The basic layout is based on the Frankly Covey layout. Since you can also customize the page size, it is very easy to define the Compact page size with your desired daily (or weekly or monthly) spread and then print it out.

I've tried it out myself and here is the result:

DIY in Compact FC size in my Personal Malden

I first cut out a stack of paper to Compact size, then fed them through my printer. Bit cumbersome, yes, but if you really consider spending lots of money on international shipping of inserts, it might be worthwhile to try that format out first.

By the way: in my research of different refill options I also discovered that Exatime 17 binders are also half an inch wider than a Personal Filofax. Be careful though, because they also have a "Exatime 17 light" version, which is the exact same size as FF Personal and thus less useable for FC sized inserts.

Whatever inserts you choose or already have chosen for next year: have fun using them!!!